Review Date 12/28/2014
How much is too much for a beer? There really is no answer, I think. Whatever you’re willing to pay for any given beer would seem to be the logical limit. For my part, some brewers are definitely testing my pricing patience, and Terrapin Beer Company of Athens, Georgia is high on the list. Terrapin is a local brewer, but they often push the envelope on pricing on draft and in the bottle.
Not so long ago, I passed up on their Midnight Monk, a 9.8% Belgian Style Black IPA. $12.99 was a bit much for me to pay for 4 bottles. Worse yet was Wake n’ Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout, a tasty enough beer that I have enjoyed in the past, but not these days at $13.99 for 4 bottles. Draft has not been much better, with their Liquid Bliss Chocolate Peanut Butter Porter fetching $6.50 for an 11-ounce draft and Moo Hoo Chiato Stout a whopping $9.00 for the same sized glass. To be fair, though, the Liquid Bliss is reasonable in six-packs at $8.99.
And then there is Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. I had heard about this one in an e-mail I got from Terrapin, but it flew off the shelves so fast around these parts I never saw it in bottles. So when Taco Mac was serving it up on tap, I decided to splurge and try it. Here’s how Terrapin describes it:
Breakfast in a bottle returns this year with one of our favorite morning time treats. “French Toasted W-n-B” combines big maple syrup notes, fresh coffee, and hints of vanilla and cinnamon to stand out among ordinary Imperial Stouts. With this much decadence packing into one bottle, this beer will get you back to the table for another round.
Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout has an alcohol content of 9.4% by volume with 50 IBUs. Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for: the price. I have heard at least report of a purchase of Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout in a bomber bottle for $11.99 in Savannah. I paid a ridiculous $10 for an 11-ounce draft glass at Taco Mac. I know, crazy but it seemed the only way I would be able to try it.
My 11-ounce glass of Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout arrives. It’s jet black in color with a minor tan head formation and big coffee and chocolate in the nose, more so coffee I think. Sipping, I get big roasty notes in the palate, beautiful dark chocolate and big coffee flavor. What I’m not getting is any suggestion of French toast at all, not even in the big dark chocolate and warming alcohol finish. This is very good but if you call a beer French toast I expect maple and/or cinnamon. I’m not getting that.
Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout reminds me of the scene in Jurassic Park where Jeff Goldblum looks into the camera in his jeep and asks “are there any dinosaurs on this dinosaur exhibit?” I’m left feeling the same about Terrapin French Toasted W-n-B (Wake n Bake) Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout. Years ago, Saranac did a glorious little beer called Saranac Winter Wassail that always reminded me of a glass of French Toast. Would that they still made it to compare to this one.
I’m rating it as a 3 (even though I liked it) for failing to deliver on its central premise and for the price. Not a beer that I would buy again folks.
And remember, try a new beer today, and drink outside the box.
*Pricing data accurate at time of review or latest update. For reference only, based on actual price paid by reviewer.